Cycling

Sagan retains world road race title

Peter Sagan (AFP)
Peter Sagan (AFP)

Doha - Peter Sagan retained his world road race title in a tight sprint finish in Doha on Sunday, edging his British rival Mark Cavendish into second place.

The Slovakian, who also won in Richmond last year, said the result was "unbelievable".

"I am still in total shock, I am very, very happy," said the 26-year-old.

He is the first rider to retain the road race world title since Italy's Paolo Bettini in Germany in 2007.

Sagan rode a masterful race throughout and was able to squeeze an opening as the sprinters bunched towards the finish line.

It caps a remarkable season for the Slovak who won the points classification at the Tour de France for the fifth consecutive year and the European Road Race championships only last month.

Many had predicted that the race, the final competition of the road world championships, would come down to a shootout between Sagan and Cavendish, and so it proved.

But the Briton, who won the event in 2011, appeared to be checked behind Australia's Michael Matthews as he made his final push towards the line.

Belgium's Tom Boonen finished third.

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